A change at quarterback may help the Kansas City Chiefs as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
Brady Quinn will get the start for the Chiefs as quarterback Matt Cassel is out with a concussion sustained in Kansas City’s 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs eighth ranked pass defense held the high-flying Ravens to just three field goals, and quarterback Joe Flacco had his worst performance of the season with 187 yards and one interception.
Both teams fielded two of the best running backs in the NFL in the Raven’s Ray Rice and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles. Rice gained 102 yards, while Charles tallied 140 yards, but neither reached the end zone.
Charles, the NFL’s leading rusher, has been the Chief’s main weapon all season, but Tampa has a proven rush defense that could nullify any hopes for Kansas City Sunday.
The Buccaneers come off their bye week after three straight losses to NFC East teams, and nearly beat the Washington Redskins in Week 4.
Tampa Bay held a slim 22-21 with 3:38 remaining, but Washington put together a final drive that led to a field goal by Billy Cundiff that iced the game with :03 left.
Quarterback Josh Freeman led the Buccaneers on three straight scoring drives for a 16-0 run, but the Tampa Bay defense failed to stop rookie Robert Griffin III, who completed four straight passes to put the Redskins in field goal range for the win.
Rookie running back Doug Martin had his lowest output of the season with eight carries for 33 yards. Martin leads the Buccaneers in rushing with 247 yards and one touchdown.
Freeman will have to open up room for Martin against the Chiefs Sunday, and improve on his 54.6 completion percentage, to give Tampa Bay a chance to succeed.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by CBS, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Tampa Bay is favored by 4 points
Over/Under: 40.5 points
Prediction: Tampa Bay’s fate rests on Freeman, who has yet to put together a complete game this season. If he is accurate, then Martin will run over the Chiefs for a big day. Quinn has his third shot as a starter and has the opportunity to keep the job in a must win game for the Chiefs to stay alive this season. Charles will carry the load for Kansas City and have another strong game for a win.
Predicted Score: Kansas City 24, Tampa Bay 14